Additionally, as I pointed out in my appendix, movies typically are put into production years before they are finally released, so deciding whether to attribute a film to a “Democratic” or “Republican” mindset is a nearly futile task, compounded by the fact that many films are international co-productions or produced outside the U.S. by people who have no inherent interest in commenting on internal American domestic policies.
There are a few other points worth mentioning. First, vampires have no inherent correlation with Republicans. Contrary to Cracked writer S. Peter Davis’s assertions, Bram Stoker did not turn Count Dracula into an irresistible sexual object; he was, in fact described as repulsive. However, his predecessor, John Polidori’s Lord Ruthven from “The Vampyre” (1819) was sexually irresistible. But he did not represent Republicans. The early literary vampires—Dracula, Varney the Vampire, Carmilla, and Lord Ruthven—were all titled nobility (well, Varney was a mere knight, but still…) and represented the decadent aristocracy preying upon the rising Victorian middle class. Even today’s Twilight vampires retain the noblesse oblige, refined manners, and high culture heritage of the pre-World War I European aristocracy. While Davis is right that vampires have a relationship to sex, it is that of the decadent aristocracy, not the hedonistic amorality of the (perceived) impoverished Democratic base.
None of this speaks to zombies as an intentional attempt to caricature Republican voters. Romero, who invented the zombies, in fact intentionally used them to symbolize American consumerism and racial and class issues—not, originally, political parties. Additionally, the stereotype of lockstep, mindless Republican voters did not emerge until the hyper-partisanship of the late 20th century, especially with Rush Limbaugh’s “dittoheads” and Rep. Tom Delay’s control over his GOP Congressional majority. The GOP therefore can’t be inherent in the zombie’s makeup—heck, on an episode Showtime’s Masters of Horror in 2005, the zombies were all but explicitly Democrats.
Interestingly, the zombie and the vampire both emerge from the same folkloric creature—the revenant, the corpse that rises from its grave to torment the living. The vampire evolved into a sexualized, intelligent revenant while the zombie degenerated into little more than base desire without mind. But the two modern creatures’ close relationship and shared ancestry should give us pause about any attempt to use these monsters to emphasize contemporary divisions.